Google Offers is a key part of the overall Google Wallet program and it launched in Portland on Wednesday. The plan is to roll out to additional cities include New York and San Fransisco this summer. The move is seen as an effort to combat Groupon in the deals and local shopping space.
Stephanie Tilenius, vice president for commerce at Google, said of the similarities between Google Offers and Groupon, “It’s similar, although you can save it to your wallet and tap and redeem. But I think this is unique in that we’re combining offers and payments at the point of sale and making it really simple for consumers. It’s all mobile.”
On costs for the service:
“We’re not charging for payments, and we’re not charging for the app,” she said. ”We’re never going to charge. It’s an open platform.”
Comparing Google Offers and Square:
“We’re actually combining use of the cloud and secure element. We’re combining offers and payments at the point of sale. Square has a device. We’re not actually distributing a new POS device.”
Kyle Harrison, Product Manager, Google Offers posts on the Google blog:
“Our first Google Offer will be from beloved local java shop Floyd’s Coffee. Husband-and-wife team Jack Inglis and Cris Chapman opened Floyd’s seven years ago, offering up espresso, coffee, breakfast burritos and more. They now have two convenient locations—one cozy, brick-lined shop in Old Town and another Stumptown watering-hole in Buckman.
With Google Offers, we’re working with great local businesses like Floyd’s Coffee, Le Bistro Montage, Powell’s Books and Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade to help them reach more Portlanders. We hope to bring Google Offers to other cities soon, with New York City and the San Francisco Bay area as our next stops.”
Digital Trends first thoughts:
“Our initial impression is that Google Offers will fare just fine. Unlike Yahoo and AOL, Google has been busy acquiring its own location-specific deals instead of just aggregating the various ones floating around the Internet. The fact that Google has Places, Maps, and Hotpot (jury’s still out on how effective this feature is) to build off of and wrap into its deals site don’t hurt either. True to deal-a-day form, Offers includes some back story on the featured business and details on the discount. Obviously, Google Maps is there to point you in the right direction and send you to the retailer’s Google Places page. There’s also a link to take a 360-degree peek inside the store itself.”